Jay Chris is a World Champion Calisthenics athlete and current World Title Holder, a skill which he completely self-taught from the age of 18.
Born and raised in London, Jay had a turbulent upbringing. He never knew his Father and was abandoned by his Mother, then at the age of 10 he sadly lost his adopted Mother to cancer. Jay was frequently passed from home to home and after having no role models in his life, he turned to the streets becoming a gang member and dealing drugs.
At the age of 14 and after narrowly avoiding a prison sentence, Jay was in a dark place with no one to turn to for help or support. The turning point for him was one day in a local park with some friends, when he was challenged to do a pull up at for £20. The thrill of what he could do sparked a sudden passion and Jay found himself back at the bars in the park training every day.
Now, Jay is a 3-time UK National Champion and 2-time World Calisthenics Champion. He has battled in competitions around the world and a widely respected athlete amongst the Calisthenics community.
Calisthenics is more than just a sport to Jay, it’s a way to express himself and the training has taught him self-discipline. He has learnt how to control his emotions by channelling any anger or frustration he feels by exerting it on the bars. Over time he built strength and confidence, but above anything, for the first time in his life it has given him self-belief.
Jay believes that fitness teaches self-restraint which is a skill you can apply to any area of your life, no matter who you are. He is a huge advocate for ‘Functional Fitness’ where you train using apparatus that exists in parks, as he knows that Gyms aren’t accessible for everyone. Because of his experiences, Jay is a proud ambassador of Steel Warriors, a charity that melts down knives used in crime, recycling the steel to build outdoor calisthenics gyms. Jay teaches young people the techniques in which they can exert their tensions or anger to build mental and physical strength for a positive result. He hopes this will provide a distraction to the bad choices that keep being made by young people and reduce the need to carry and use knives on the streets.